We enjoyed an interesting talk last month from Peter Ingman, an aviation historian who has written several books. His talk was based on his latest release, “A History of RAAF Bases in SA”.
Aside from making use of existing airfields like Parafield, the RAAF established large training bases at Mallala, Pt Pirie and Mt Gambier in support of the Empire Training Scheme, to supply aircrew for the Allied War effort. Mallala had up to 140 aircraft and 2000 personnel based there. In addition, an airfield was built at Gawler with the first concrete and bitumen runways in SA. These runways were suitable for heavy bombers such as the B-24.
75 years later we still enjoy the RAAF’s legacy as all these airfields remain in use by other aviators.
2 weeks ago a mixed group of aviators responded to an invite from Kevin Treager to visit his airfield at Lameroo. A sunny but rather breezy day, there were 14 visiting aircraft and about 3 dozen people present. They came from far and wide. I spoke to people who had come from Murray Bridge, Goolwa, Strathalbyn, Aldinga, Gawler and Waikerie.
After enjoying a BBQ lunch, Kevin showed us around his aircraft and gyrocopter collection, housed in 4 different hangars. There were at least a dozen aircraft and 10 or so gyrocopters. A lot of them Kevin has purchased cheaply due to damage or not working properly and restored them to flying condition. One must wonder where he finds the time to run a farm, fix aircraft AND manage to fly them! Quite a testament to the man’s abilities. You will find photos on the club website.
Last weekend the Antique Aircraft Association held an event at Clare Valley.
It wasn’t the large scale event of previous years as no interstate visitors were able to make it.
Nonetheless, there were some 40 aircraft present on the Saturday of which about a dozen were in the antique category (as were their pilots).
The airfield was active all weekend with numerous local flights and formation flights being conducted. Simon Hackett arrived in his new PC-12. Same registration and same paint scheme as his previous PC-12, but a new aircraft as identified by its five bladed propeller.
There was a great BBQ lunch put on by hosts, the Clare Valley Aero Club. Their club has moved from strength to strength. They now have a fully paved 1200m main runway, their own hangar, their own training aircraft and a fantastic club house. They even have 2 courtesy cars available for visiting pilots. This makes it much easier to get around if you are planning to fly in for a visit.
Please be reminded that our next meeting November 24th is the Christmas Party and awards night.
Ticket sales have been slow so far, but I encourage you not to delay as cut-off for final numbers is November 17th. Payment needs to be made in advance at $60 per head for a 3 course Christmas Themed menu.
An EFT payment to the club bank account is the preferred method but please remember to include your name as a reference. Details below. Tickets can be collected on the night and these are individually numbered so you will be automatically entered in the draw for raffle prizes at the end of the evening. There will also be a fun quiz and it won’t be all aircraft questions. You will also be able to try out your building and flying skills with a paper aeroplane contest. It is sure to be a fun evening, so I encourage all members and partners to try and get there.
The final club event for 2021 will be another BBQ at Murray Bridge airfield on December 12th. As always, it will be a flyin or drive in event with donations for lunch going to RFDS, our club charity. There will be a clipboard circulated at the Christmas dinner to confirm numbers attending.
Flying the aeroplane is more important than radioing your plight to the person on the ground incapable of understanding it.